Week 5 Fantasy TE Rankings: Should-starts, sleepers, potential busts at tight finish

Rank Player 1 George Kittle, SF vs. MIA. Kittle’s return to action in Week 4 was an excellent one as he caught all 15 of his targets for a whopping 183 yards and a TD. Kittle will continue to be one of the two top-tier tight ends in fantasy and as long as he’s healthy, he’s a must-start and is probably the No. 1 pass-catching option for the 49ers. 2 Travis Kelce, KC vs. LV 3 Mark Andrews, BAL vs. CIN. The Bengals have allowed the seventh-most yards to TEs this season at a mark of 259, yet they haven’t allowed a TD yet to the position. That could change against Andrews, who already has two multi-TD games this season and averaged six catches for 76 yards and a score in the two games he played against the Bengals last season. 4 Darren Waller, LV @ KC 5 Tyler Higbee, LAR @ WAS. Last time that Higbee faced a team that was weak against tight ends, the Eagles, he caught five passes for 54 yards and three TDs. Washington has allowed five TDs to TEs so far this season (tied for most in the NFL) including two to Mark Andrews last week. Higbee should have a chance for another good game if Jared Goff looks his way early and often. 6 Jonnu Smith, TEN vs. BUF. The Bills have actually struggled against TEs this year. They have allowed 359 yards to the position, more than any other team in the NFL, and they have allowed the second-most receptions to the position at 31. Smith is averaging 4.3 catches, 60.3 yards, and a TD per game for the Titans and depending on the health of their other receiving weapons (A.J. Brown, knee; Adam Humphries, COVID list), he could be in for a bigger role than usual in the Titans offense. 7 Zach Ertz, PHI @ PIT. Ertz will continue to be a PPR monster because of his high volume of targets. Last week against the 49ers, he only had nine yards, but he did have four catches on the game. However, the Steelers are just about as tough on tight ends as the 49ers are, so this may be one of Ertz’s more difficult matchups. He should still see enough targets to be relevant, but there are concerns about how much yardage he’ll be able to rack up in this contest. 8 Eric Ebron, PIT vs. PHI. The Eagles have allowed the fourth-most yards to tight ends this season and have allowed a league-high five TDs to the position this year. They’re fresh off getting gashed by George Kittle while Ebron caught a TD his last game and will be refreshed and ready to play after an unexpected bye. He’s the top streamer this week and can be trusted in an excellent matchup. 9 Evan Engram, NYG @ DAL. Engram is one of the most-targeted TEs in the NFL and is averaging 7.5 targets per game from Daniel Jones. He hasn’t caught a TD yet or topped 65 yards in a game, but the volume is there. In a favorable matchup against a Cowboys team allowing 11.4 fantasy points per game (FPPG) to TEs, Engram will have a chance to rack up some serious points as the Giants look to earn their first win. 10 Hunter Henry, LAC @ NO. The Saints allow more catches (32) and TDs (5) to TEs than any other team in the NFL. They also allow the second-most yards to the position at a mark of 330. Henry is averaging 4.5 catches per game for 61.3 yards but has yet to score this season. That could change against the Saints, especially considering that they’ve allowed TDs to the likes of Marcedes Lewis and Robert Tonyan this season. 11 Hayden Hurst, ATL vs. CAR 12 Mike Gesicki, MIA @ SF. Since catching eight passes for 130 yards and a TD against the Bills, Gesicki has just one catch for 15 yards in each of the past two games. Granted, he did have a TD against the Jaguars, but he hasn’t been able to get enough targets to stay relevant. He may have a tough time cracking TE1 territory against a 49ers defense that just held Zach Ertz to four catches for nine yards and has only allowed 12 catches for 84 yards to TEs on the year. 13 Jordan Akins, HOU vs. JAX. The Jaguars have given up 291 yards to TEs this season, good for the third-most in the NFL. Provided that Akins can return from the concussion he suffered last week against the Vikings, he could be a solid streaming play, especially in PPR formats. He has caught 14 of his 15 targets this season and turned them into 168 yards and a TD. 14 Jared Cook, NO vs. LAC. The Chargers allow the 10th-most FPPG to TEs this year and have let three players at the position score against them this year. Cook will have a chance to be a quality streamer but that will all depend on whether or not he can return from a groin injury that kept him out of last week’s game. 15 Dalton Schultz, DAL vs. NYG. Since taking over as a starter in place of Blake Jarwin in Week 2, Schultz has caught 17 passes for 208 yards and two TDs. It’s worth noting that a good chunk of his production against the Browns came in garbage time, but that won’t bother fantasy owners too much. Schultz’s matchup with the Giants may look like a good one, but they are one of seven teams that have yet to allow a TD to a TE this year. As such, Schultz is more a target-based streamer and PPR threat, as the talented Dallas receivers may be more involved in red-zone opportunities. 16 Mo Alie-Cox, IND @ CLE. Alie-Cox has established himself as the top tight end in Indianapolis and seems to have a good rapport with Philip Rivers. Alie-Cox has either 100+ receiving yards or a TD in his last three games and while he has only picked up 11 targets in those contests, he is a great red-zone threat and downfield threat. He should be a good streamer against a Cleveland defense that has allowed 28 catches, 275 yards, and four TDs to TEs this season. 17 Greg Olsen, SEA vs. MIN. Olsen has emerged from the logjam Seattle has at tight end to become the team’s top player at the position. The past two weeks, he has caught 10-of-13 targets for 96 yards. He could move further up these rankings in the future if he can put forth a good effort against a Vikings team that has surrendered the fifth-most yards to TEs this season (267). 18 Logan Thomas, WAS vs. LAR. In his last game, Thomas racked up only one catch for eight yards, but he is still averaging 7.0 targets per game this season. The Rams have allowed the eighth-most receptions to tight ends (23) as well as three TDs, so Thomas can be trusted as a potential PPR play or TD-dependent starter. 19 Austin Hooper, CLE vs. IND. The Browns finally got Hooper more involved in the offense against the Cowboys last week, as he saw seven targets and caught five of them for 34 yards and a TD. All were season highs for him. Hooper’s stock may be trending up, but he is going to be taking on the Colts in Week 5, and the Colts allow a measly 1.8 FPPG to TEs, good for the best in the league. So, trusting him may not be the best move. 20 Jimmy Graham, CHI vs. TB. Graham didn’t do a lot last week against the Colts, but he should have a better chance to catch some passes against the Buccaneers in Week 5. The Bucs have allowed 197 yards and a TD to TEs this year, so perhaps Graham will establish more chemistry with Nick Foles on a short week. 21 Chris Herndon, NYJ vs. ARZ 22 Rob Gronkowski, TB @ CHI. Gronk only saw three targets and caught just one pass for 29 yards against the Chargers, but he should have more opportunities to produce with O.J. Howard (Achilles’) likely done for the season. Just the prior week, Gronk had a six-catch, 48-yard day, so he has some upside. He’s not to be trusted yet, but if he can become more of a red-zone weapon, he will work his way into the streamer category. 23 Drew Sample, CIN @ BAL. Sample’s targets in games this season have been as follows: 1, 9, 1, 5. Simply put, he can’t be trusted with that kind of inconsistent volume, especially in a matchup against a Ravens team that is decent against tight ends. 24 Tyler Eifert, JAX @ HOU 25 Dawson Knox, BUF @ TEN 26 Kyle Rudolph, MIN @ SEA. Rudolph is just a TD-dependent bottom-barrel price DFS streamer. The only reason he is moving up these rankings is that he’s out snapping Irv Smith Jr. and is seeing more targets than the second-year player. 27 Ian Thomas, CAR @ ATL. Thomas had his best game of the season against the Cardinals, seeing a season-high five targets and grabbing a TD. There are just too many weapons in the Carolina offense to make him fantasy-relevant. 28 Jack Doyle, IND @ CLE. Doyle has lost his top TE role to Mo Alie-Cox and it seems that Trey Burton could soon overtake him as well. This is a disappointing result for one of the top sleeper TEs of the preseason. 29 Taysom Hill, NO vs. LAC 30 Cameron Brate, TB @ CHI. Brate caught a TD against the Chargers but it was just his second target of the season. Maybe he’ll be used more as a red-zone weapon with Howard out, but we’ll have to see. 31 Dan Arnold, ARI @ NYJ 32 Irv Smith Jr., MIN @ SEA

Steven Gregory